The most common minimum spacing recommendations per chicken are:
4 square feet in the coop and 10 square feet in an attached run. or if you choose to confine them to a chicken coop it is 10 sq. feet. (That’s where the chickens are locked in their living space all the time.)
Recently I moved the 24 Rhode Island Red a mix of pullets and cockerels to another pen since now they are about 3 months old. They are growing daily and this makes it hard to come up with the required spacing needed to keep healthy chickens, not to mention happy. Utilizing the spacing requirements above, I do not have near enough allocated for each chicken.
When space is confined I find that there is an over-abundance of pecking and chasing going on. And within the confined space they find the weakest one and go about pecking on this chicken until blood is drawn and that is just the beginning. Nothing stops these chickens once they see something out of the ordinary–a feather missing, a bald spot, new growth, etc.–especially on their own breed.
Right now I have three chickens in confinement due to the cannibalism. One of them is so bad that they pecked all the feathers and skin down to the bone. I would show you pictures but it is down right gross. We are in the process of modifying the chicken coop at this time to allow them access to the outside for some free-ranging. I would say it is time for them to get a break into the outdoors.
We have in our chicken coop plans building more pens. They are still in the planning stages since money is always a factor. We have the plans ready though and will build two more additional pens in the very near future to allow me to continue to raise chickens that are healthy and happy.
Tags: raising chickens